Monday, June 8, 2009

First Black Woman To Head Fortune 500 Company

When Anne Mulchay steps down as CEO of the Xerox Corporation, a black woman will head a Fortune 500 company for the first time. The company released a statement stating that Xerox Corporation President Ursula Burns will be replacing Anne Mulcahy effective July 1.

Ms. Burns, who has been with Xerox since 1980, started with the firm as a summer intern focusing on mechanical engineering. She was named president of the company in 2007 and has been instrumental in helping to revive the company’s financial health after shares plummeted 80 percent in 2000.

Ms. Burns will also join the list of four other black CEOs and 15 other women CEOs of a Fortune 500 company. She is widely credited with helping turn around the company after it came close to bankruptcy.

Ms. Burns has played a pivotal role at Xerox in recent years: overseeing corporate strategy, global accounts, IT and human resources. She has been at Ms. Mulcahy’s side during her efforts to revitalize Xerox. Ms. Burns is credited with negotiating with the company’s unions to cut thousands of jobs.

Xerox’s share price is still low, but the company is profitable again and has gained market share. Ms. Burns talked about the company’s turnaround at Oregon State University in September.

“We are poised for greatness and for success. We have pulled ourselves back from the brink of bankruptcy and taught ourselves that we can do just about anything we aspire to do, if we work hard and put our head down.”

Ms. Burns, 50, grew up in a New York City housing project and went on to get a master’s degree in engineering at Columbia University. She started at Xerox as a summer intern in 1980.

1 comment:

  1. That's great news! We should all be proud of Burns' achievement.